Isle Royale - Day 8
We waiting until mid-morning so that we could enjoy our lunch on the shores of Lake Superior by noon. We purchased a beer to take our new hiking friend we hoped to surprise and visit with while we were there, and then we laced up our boots once again and took off from Windigo on the trail. After hiking the Minong, the Huginnin Cove trail was a welcomed reprieve, with its wide groomed trails, gentle ups and downs, and relatively soft surface.
We forced ourselves to go slow as we were still officially resting with no packs on this 9.4 mile day. The start of the trail has an older, deep woods feel after distancing from the campsite and hustle and bustle of Windigo. The trail is a loop, and remains fairly unremarkable traveling the first section clockwise. The ferns and wildflowers were beginning to bloom, which made for interesting foliage, and the mosquitoes were finally coming in. We didn’t rest much since the day was warm and there was little wind to keep the bugs off.
The cove itself is comprised of two smaller ones with larger rocks, so it was not as accessible as some other spots like Todd or Little Todd. It was quaint and the few sites each had good views of the lake in their own little section of the cove. The shoreline and pine trees jut out into the cove from either side and so it has a very hidden treasure feel to it. The cool breeze and shady shore made for a chillier lake side afternoon, and it wasn’t the type of location to beach and sun yourself. After visiting with our friend and eating our lunch, we shoved off to the more interesting portion of the trail.
The return trip has a section that follows the shoreline for quite some time, allowing you to see the famous north shore cliffs. They aren’t particularly high, but its easy to see how battered they could become in the wind, and also clear why paddling this section should be left to the more skilled paddlers. There is simply no exit. The woods resembled the western Pacific coast with the water on the left and the most, gnarled, wind-battered pines towering to the right. It seemed like excellent wolf habitat with possible dens. The trail cameras on site and the hairy scatt on the trail seemed to support that possibility.
Once we departed the lakeshore, it was an uneventful return to Windigo. However, we did spot a moose feeding in a swampy section right off the trail and got to watch him for 5 minutes before we moved on leaving him to his soggy salad. The trail was a bit rooty at times, and had some marshy areas with board walks, but mostly we were in a hurry to return and continue our rest day.
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